Many people believed the Cincinnati Bengals were going to be able to avoid the Super Bowl hangover this year. Through two games, it appears history is repeating itself. The Bengals dropped a heartbreaker to the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 Sunday. Once again Bengals QB Joe Burrow spent much of the game on his back.
At one point in the second half, Burrow was videotaped telling his coach, Zac Taylor, no empty sets. The following play, the Bengals used Joe Mixon as their blocker. Burrow was sacked.
Here's Joe Burrow yelling to Zac Taylor: "No empty set."
You can actually hear him say it. #Bengals used Joe Mixon as a blocker the next play. Burrow was sacked. Led to a FG. pic.twitter.com/dyOBm1GSiP
— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) September 19, 2022
The Cowboys sacked Burrow six times during the game. Cincy’s QB has now been taken down 13 times in just two games this season. That’s a pace of 110 for the season. Obviously, they won’t keep up that pace. But if the Bengals can’t figure out a way to protect their franchise quarterback, they might find themselves in an Andrew Luck situation.
The biggest problem with the team last season was their offensive line’s ability to protect Burrow. Everyone knew it. The Rams took advantage of it to win the Super Bowl. Cincinnati appeared to address the problem this offseason. They went out and signed three very good linemen in Alex Cappa, Ted Karras, and La’El Collins. According to Pro Football Focus, they entered this season with the eighth-best offensive line.
They certainly have not played that way this season.
Cincinnati has a brief reprieve as they play the Jets next weekend. But after that, Joe Burrow and the Bengals have a difficult stretch against the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, and New Orleans Saints. If they aren’t careful, this season could be over before it began.